Alllison Barnes

It has been 10 long years since "Shock and Awe" – the opening bombardment of Baghdad – lit up the skies above the Tigris. A decade later, we know far more about the case the Bush administration made to the world to justify its war of choice to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Books like Hubris by David Corn and Michael Isikoff, and British commission and US Senate reports have catalogued the extent to which intelligence was misused to mislead the public. Murray Waas at National Journal is proving himself the best muckraker in Washington: Take his lastest expose, documenting the Bush administration's machinations to cover up what Bush knew, and when Bush knew it, about Iraq's (lack of) WMD programs and also how those lies took the nation to war with Iraq..

"Presidential knowledge was the ball game," says a former official outside the White House who was personally familiar with the damage-control effort. "The mission was to insulate the president. It was about making it appear that he wasn't in the know. You could do that on Niger. You couldn't do that with the aluminum tubes." In the end, however, it almost worked: the nation almost never knew the truth about the lies and manipulations of intelligence leading up to the war with Iraq.